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“The evidence in the literature is quite clear: vertebral artery dissection (VAD), a type of stroke, is associated with chiropractic neck manipulation. It is not a common outcome, perhaps 1.5/100,000 manipulations, but it happens. What’s left is a somewhat subjective decision regarding the risks vs. benefits of the procedure…VAD is an uncommon type of stroke that affects the back of the brain. Rather than go into the details, I think we can all agree that strokes are a bad outcome, and that if a procedure carries that risk, it better have a lot of benefit…The best literature has failed to show a significant benefit of chiropractic neck manipulation vs. more conservative therapy for the treatment of neck pain. What we have here is an intervention that carries a small but real risk of a catastrophic complication, whose benefits are unclear at best.” Peter Lipson MD, Whitecoat Underground (30th September 2011)
Follow up: 2nd October 2011 Supporting the unsupportable
“…when it comes to risk, there is a small but definite association between chiropractic neck manipulation and the rare form of stroke known as vertebral artery dissection. This correlation is most clearly seen in young patients, those who would not normally suffer from strokes. Given the lack of superiority of chiropractic, and the small but real association with VAD, I stand by my advice that one should not allow a chiropractor near the neck.”